Mom claps back at pool manager who shamed her for breastfeeding

Brei Theisen had just finished nursing her 14-month-old on the edge of a public pool in Wood River, Illinois when a lifeguard pointed at her and the manager approached her, she told Yahoo Beauty. "I need you to be more discreet because you're offending other people, and I can't allow that to happen," he said. But she didn't let him make her feel ashamed of a healthy, natural act. Instead, she explained why shaming like this needs to stop.

"I'm not going to cover my daughter's head in 90-degree weather—should the people at the food court also cover up?" she asked. When her daughter Ava was hungry again, she went to another employee. He, too, told her she couldn't breastfeed in public and suggested she use a dressing area by the bathroom. "You don't have a problem changing your baby in a public bathroom but you have a problem feeding her there?" he asked.

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Despite what the pool staff said, Theisen actually had a legal right to nurse there. Every state except Idaho has a law allowing women to breastfeed in public places. The Wood River Parks and Recreation Department promised in a statement to Fox 2 Now that pool employees would be trained in this law for the future.

Theisen doesn't plan on going back to this pool, and she's concerned other nursing moms might not returned to places where they've been shamed either if they don't know their rights. "You shouldn't be afraid to breastfeed in public," she told KSDK. "But for these situations, it makes it happen, people are afraid to breastfeed."

So, she wants to clear things up: Moms have the right to feed their children however, wherever, and whenever they want, and it's not OK to make them feel bad about it. "I shouldn't have been told to be discrete or cover up," she said. "Nobody else eats under a cover, especially in 90-degree weather."

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